Died in 1981

Jan 1 Arnold Kegel an American gynecologist who invented the Kegel perineometer and Kegel exercises as non-surgical treatment of genital relaxation. Today pelvic floor exercises are widely held as first-line treatment for urinary stress incontinence and female genital prolapse, with evidence supporting its use from systematic reviews of randomized trials in the Cochrane Library amongst others. Kegel first published his ideas in 1948. He was Assistant Professor of Gynecology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC
Jan 1 Kazimierz Michałowski a Polish archaeologist and Egyptologist, and the founder of Nubiology.
Jan 1 Albert Henry (politician) the first Premier of the Cook Islands. He was forced to resign from that post in a 1978 voting scandal for which he was later convicted of fraud. Henry was the founder and first leader of the Cook Islands Party
Jan 1 Hephzibah Menuhin an American-Australian pianist, writer, and human rights campaigner. She was sister to the violinist Yehudi Menuhin and to the pianist, painter, and poet Yaltah Menuhin. She was also a gifted linguist and writer, co-authoring several books and writing many papers with her second husband, Richard Hauser
Jan 1 Oumarou Ganda a Nigerien director and actor who brought African cinema to international attention in the 1960s and 1970s.
Jan 3 Princess Alice Countess of Athlone a member of the British Royal Family. She was the longest-lived Princess of the Blood Royal of the British Royal Family and the last surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria. She also held the titles of Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duchess in Saxony from birth, as well as a Princess of Teck by marriage, until 1917 when she was commanded to relinquish them by the Letters Patent of George She was godmother to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, who is the granddaughter of her first cousin on her mother's side, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
Jan 4 Gordon Charles Steele an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Jan 4 Ruth Lowe a Canadian pianist and songwriter. She wrote the song "I'll Never Smile Again" after her husband died during surgery. The song was later covered by many artists, including Frank Sinatra and The Ink Spots
Jan 5 Harold Urey an American physical chemist whose pioneering work on isotopes earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1934 for the discovery of deuterium. He played a significant role in the development of the atom bomb, but may be most prominent for his contribution to theories on the development of organic life from non-living matter
Jan 5 Lanza del Vasto a philosopher, poet, artist, catholic and nonviolent activist.
Jan 6 A. J. Cronin a Scottish novelist and physician.
Jan 6 Gennady Gor a Russian writer and science fiction author of the Soviet Union.
Jan 7 Eric Robinson (Australian politician) an Australian politician.
Jan 7 Alvar Lidell a BBC radio announcer and newsreader. During the Second World War his distinctive voice became synonymous with the reading of news
Jan 7 José Ardévol a Cuban composer and conductor of Spanish derivation.
Jan 8 Matthew Beard (American actor) an American child actor, most famous for portraying the character of Stymie in the Our Gang short films from 1930 to 1935. He was a native of Los Angeles, California
Jan 8 Mortimer von Kessel a Panzer General in the German army during the Second World War.
Jan 8 Alexander Kotov a Soviet chess grandmaster and author. He was a Soviet champion, a two-time world title Candidate, and a prolific chess author. Kotov served in high posts in the USSR Chess Federation and most of his books were written during the period of Cold War between the US and the USSR. Therefore, his works tended to be rather critical of American players. Russian players, on the other hand, were presented and described in a particularly favorable light
Jan 9 Cozy Cole an American jazz drummer who scored a #1 Cashbox magazine hit with the record "Topsy Part 2". "Topsy" peaked at number three on Billboard Hot 100, and at number one on the R&B chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The track peaked at 29 in the UK Singles Chart in 1958. The recording contained a lengthy drum solo, and was one of the few drum solo recordings that ever made the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single was issued on the tiny Brooklyn-based Love Records label
Jan 9 Kazimierz Serocki a Polish composer and one of the founders of the Warsaw Autumn contemporary music festival.
Jan 10 Fawn M. Brodie best known for Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History , a work of psychobiography, and No Man Knows My History , an early and still influential non-hagiographic biography of Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement.
Jan 10 Richard Boone an American actor who starred in over 50 films and was notable for his roles in Westerns and for starring in the TV series Have Gun – Will Travel.
Jan 10 Katharine Alexander an American actress. She appeared in 44 films between 1930 and 1951
Jan 11 Desiderius Hampel a SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS during World War II who commanded the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar and was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
Jan 11 Beulah Bondi an American actress of stage, film and television. She began her acting career as a young child in theater, and after establishing herself as a stage actress, she reprised her role in Street Scene for the 1931 film version. She played supporting roles in several films during the 1930s, and was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She played the mother of James Stewart in four films, including Smith Goes to Washington and It's a Wonderful Life
Jan 11 Artur Berger an Austrian-Soviet film architect and set designer. He was active in Austria between 1920 and 1936, during which time he worked on about 30 feature films. In 1936 he emigrated to the Soviet Union, where he continued to work on films until the early 1970s
Jan 11 Malcolm MacDonald a British politician and diplomat.
Jan 14 George Skibine a ballet dancer with the Ballets Russes from the age of five years old, as an extra in Petrouchka.
Jan 14 John O'Grady an Australian writer. His works include the comic novel They're a Weird Mob and the poem The Integrated Adjective, sometimes known as Tumba-bloody-rumba
Jan 14 G. Lloyd Spencer a Democratic United States Senator from the State of Arkansas.
Jan 16 Bernard Lee an English actor, best known for his role as M in the first eleven Eon-produced James Bond films. Lee's film career spanned 1934 to 1979, though he had appeared on stage from the age of six. He was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London
Jan 19 Francesca Woodman an American photographer best known for her black and white pictures featuring herself and female models. Many of her photographs show young women who are nude, blurred , merging with their surroundings, or whose faces are obscured. Her work continues to be the subject of much critical acclaim and attention, years after she killed herself at the age of 22
Jan 19 Alberto Héber Usher a Uruguayan politician, who served as President of Uruguay from March 1, 1966 to March 1, 1967.
Jan 21 Cuth Harrison a British racing driver from England. He was born in Ecclesall, Sheffield, and also died in Sheffield. He participated in 3 World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 13 May 1950. He scored no championship points. He founded the T.C.Harrison Ford dealership
Jan 22 Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi a Pakistani historian, scholar, writer, and a professor a political history at the Karachi University.
Jan 22 Franco Abbiati an Italian musicologist.
Jan 23 Samuel Barber an American composer of orchestral, opera, choral, and piano music. He is one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century: music critic Donal Henahan stated that "Probably no other American composer has ever enjoyed such early, such persistent and such long-lasting acclaim." His Adagio for Strings has earned a permanent place in the concert repertory of orchestras. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music twice: for his opera Vanessa and for the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. Also widely performed is his Knoxville: Summer of 1915 , a setting for soprano and orchestra of a prose text by James Agee. At the time of his death, nearly all of his compositions had been recorded
Jan 23 Roman Rudenko a Ukrainian Soviet lawyer. He was the prosecutor of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic from 1944-1953 and Chief prosecutor of the entire Soviet Union from 1953. He is also well known for acting as the Soviet Chief Prosecutor at the main trial of the major Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg Trials and Chief Prosecutor at the Trial of the Sixteen. He held military rank as a Lt.General at the time he served at Nuremberg
Jan 24 Orville Brown a professional wrestler. Born in Sharon, Kansas, Brown is a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and was recognized as the first NWA World Heavyweight Champion in 1948. Brown's professional wrestling career ended on November 1, 1949, when he suffered severe injuries in an automobile accident
Jan 25 Lobsang Rampa the pen name of an author who wrote books with paranormal and occult themes. His best known work is The Third Eye, published in Britain in 1956
Jan 25 Adele Astaire an American dancer and entertainer. She was Fred Astaire's elder sister, and his partner in a 27-year career in vaudeville and theater, beginning when he was five and she was eight
Jan 26 Tracy Sonneborn an American biologist. His life's study was of the protozoan group Paramecium
Jan 27 Huck Geary a former Major League Baseball player. A right-handed shortstop who batted from the left side, Geary had a listed weight of 170 pounds
Jan 29 Kipp Hamilton an American actress. She was the sister of producer Joe Hamilton and the sister-in-law of Carol Burnett
Jan 29 Nikolay Pushkov a Soviet scientist, founder of IZMIRAN.
Jan 31 William Gopallawa the last Governor-General of Ceylon from 1962 to 1972 and became the first President of Sri Lanka when Ceylon declared itself a republic in 1972 and changed its name to Sri Lanka. Until 1972, Ceylon was a Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state and Queen of Ceylon. He was well known as an austere, nonpartisan and statesmanlike figure who commanded the respect of all political parties
Feb 1 Geirr Tveitt a Norwegian composer and pianist. Tveitt was a central figure of the national movement in Norwegian cultural life during the 1930s
Feb 1 Aleksandra Belcova a Latvian and Russian painter.
Feb 1 Eric Hultén a Swedish botanist, plant geographer and 20th century explorer of The Arctic. He was born in Halla in Södermanland. He took his licentiate exam 1931 at Stockholm University and obtained his doctorate degree in botany at Lund University in 1937. In his thesis, he coined the term Beringia for the ice-age land bridge between Eurasia and North America. From 1945 to 1961, he was a professor and head of the Botany Section at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. In 1953, he was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences as member number 977
Feb 1 Mischa Mischakoff an outstanding violinist who, as a concertmaster, led many of America's greatest orchestras from the 1920s to the 1960s.